Governor Augustus Jaspert has disclosed that the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), which has transitioned to the National Emergency Operations Centre, recently lost its building as well as ‘nearly 40 years of investment in technology and equipment’.
The items lost during recent hurricanes are important to monitor and provide early warning of hazards that can threaten the British Virgin Islands, the governor said.
“Efforts are being made to restore the department’s National Emergency Broadcasting System which includes sirens, monitoring devices, and communications networks essential for any disaster management system, along with the department’s building – which were also destroyed,” added Governor Jaspert.
Meanwhile, the DDM was not the only entity that lost communications technology.
In addition to telecoms companies, radio and television stations were also affected, according to the Third Situation Analysis of Hurricane Irma presented by the DDM and the National Emergency Operations Centre.
“The antennas for 90.9FM and 92.3FM, which were located on the LIME’s Tower at Chalwell, were both destroyed, thus shutting down both radio stations. Channel 51 transmits via BVI Cable TV, and that connection was disrupted because of damage to cable system. Work has begun to resume broadcasting on Caribbean Broadcast
Network (BVI),” added the report.
“One local television station, JTV, has established operations out of the National Emergency Operations Centre communications center to assist with providing local news coverage and documentary footage on Hurricane Irma response and relief activities.”
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